Cooking his way into hearts

Cooking his way into hearts

Chef Christopher Koetke, vice-president, Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, Chicago, is popular among food lovers around the world. The American chef and food educator recently gave a cooking demonstration and master class at ITC Windsor, through which he drew metaphors about the education being provided at Kendall.

It was an educational and fun experience even to watch him behind the counter, giving lessons on knife skills and even the proper way of breaking a duck’s leg. The menu comprised duck breast, chartreuse of wild ride, duck stew, chowchow topped with confit gizzards and maple syrup sauce.

An excellent teacher and passionate cook, he took the audience through each dish, describing the history of each, sharing details about the ingredients used and explaining the need for safety, sanitation, technique, accuracy and speed in any kitchen. Anecdotes were shared from his 30 odd years as a professional chef and he also talked about doing this as a career and the business side of food.

“Food is all about the details. One should not know only the art of food but also its science,” he said during the demonstration.

“It was a good learning experience for all of us in the crowd. In demonstrations, chefs tend to choose easier meats to work with. But chef Koetke chose a challenging meat like duck and actually did justice to it. I really admired his entire approach to cooking and he made a really tough job look easy,” said chef Thomas Joseph, who attended the event.

Visibly happy with how the meal turned out, chef Koetke said, “This is the 33rd country I’m visiting and it’s been a blast. I’ve eaten at least 25 different dishes in my three days here. How can anyone not have fun cooking outdoors here? The hotel is beautiful and the weather is stunning. I’m really happy to be here.”

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